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8 hours ago | Atlas Obscura
Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery in Lititz, Pennsylvania
At the Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery, bread is historic, salted, and loopy. The establishment is the first commercial pretzel bakery in the United States. And it just so happens that the Sturgis family is the oldest pretzel baking family in the country, as well. In 1861, German immigrant Julius Sturgis was a spry 26 when he purchased a stone house at 219 E. Main Street in the little town of Lititz. The building, which dates to 1784, soon became both the Sturgis family home and their bakery. There, Julius twisted the first pretzels in the country. His recipe is apparently timeless—it's still used today.
10 hours ago | Atlas Obscura
How a Big Mac Became a 'Historical Artifact' in Iceland
In 2012, when moving out of his house, Hjörtur Smárason found in his garage a pair of old, mice-chewed roller blades, tools, boxes, and an untouched bag of food from McDonald’s, still in its paper bag. It had been sitting there for three years after Smárason purchased one last McDonald’s meal, a Big Mac and fries, on the day before the three outlets of the fast food chain in Iceland closed their doors in 2009. Surprisingly to him, the bag was in immaculate condition. Even the mice had left it alone.Smárason says that he was reluctant to open the bag at the time, remembering the decomposed sandwich that once spent an entire summer at the bottom of his child’s school backpack. But upon opening the sack, “it looked like I bought it just 15 minutes earlier,” he says. “And the same with the fries, it all looked almost new. Just turned cold on the way home.”
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10 hours ago | A Luxury Travel Blog
Denver food halls deliver mile-high cuisine
Denver has turned into a food town for many reasons, including being a central air hub where visitors want to explore. One result is the vibrant food hall scene, the most expansive per capita in the U.S. Far beyond just sustenance, you can find unique and artistic mixes of food adventures, shopping, and fun activities. In the center of the city and the surrounding communities, they offer a culinary combination and adventure worth exploring no matter where you travel around Denver. Food halls give patrons unrivaled choices that fit every taste preference and serve as destinations.Stanley MarketplaceThis is more than a food hall housed in a hanger area from the old municipal airport in the northeast part of town. It is a shopping and activity destination with 50+ venues on site plus a group banquet/meeting area and outdoor beer garden. Because of the size of the hangar complex, you can expect a number of indoor and outdoor entertainment and community events on a regular basis. For mental diversion, they have their own virtual reality arcade. There are some sit-down dining options on two levels as well as outside. In the interior, chairs and tables are scattered around, which allows you to take your food and drink and window shop while dining. A great drink and food pairing are getting a real Mexican beer from Cheluna, then adding a small plate, Mexican specialties from Comida. 
11 hours ago | Atlas Obscura
Inside the Decades-Long Effort to Build a Barbecue Trail
After more than 25 years, Helen’s Bar-B-Q has a reputation that extends far beyond Brownsville, Tennessee. Six days a week, Helen Turner rises in the morning dark to tend the oak and hickory logs, which take hours to burn down to embers. Sometimes her husband, who is now retired, lends a hand, but for the most part, she is accustomed to manning the pit alone. By the time customers roll in, the hog skin has acquired a formidably blackened bark and the collagen has all but liquified, leaving meat that shreds with the lightest touch.The Southern Foodways Alliance started the Southern BBQ Trail two decades ago to document the legacy of barbecue giants like Turner. Currently, through the organization’s free app, SFA Stories, readers can search through barbecue oral histories recorded in Alabama, North Carolina, Mississippi, Georgia, and Tennessee. Other states, including Texas, Kentucky, and South Carolina, are all in progress. The collection functions as a map for culinary roadtrips, much like the organization’s tamale trail in the Mississippi Delta or the boudin trail in Louisiana. It’s a guide for finding great food, as well as a record of America’s intangible cultural heritage for future generations.
12 hours ago | A Luxury Travel Blog
Win a luxury cruise on the River Severn!
There’s nothing better than escaping the stresses and strains of daily life, and a holiday in the UK is just the solution, whether a trip to the seaside, a walking holiday in a National Park, or even a cruise on one of the UK’s waterways.English Holiday Cruises operate trips along the River Severn, beginning at Gloucester’s Historic Docks. They have packages available for between two and seven nights. Each trip includes a pre-cruise hotel stay, food, accommodation and daily excursions to places such as WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre and Tewkesbury Abbey. English Holiday Cruises is a family business that owns and operates the Edward Elgar Hotel Boat, the largest capacity inland hotel boat in the UK and accredited a four-star quality rating by Visit England.
14 hours ago | Atlas Obscura
Stobs Camp in Hawick, Scotland
Due to its extraordinary level of preservation, Stobs Camp is an internationally important First World War site. This rather bleak and exposed Scottish hillside was chosen for its remote location. For many years, it was shrouded in secrecy.The military training camp at Stobs was established in 1902 and became important at the outbreak of WWI. After hosting a series of Officers' Training Corps, it became an internment camp for various "aliens" and then a prisoner of war camp. The detainees were mostly German. In addition to captured military personnel, thousands of civilians from Britain's German communities were detained in prison camps during the war.
14 hours ago | Atlas Obscura
Shrine of the Stations of the Cross in San Luis, Colorado
A deep history of Hispanic heritage runs throughout the San Luis Valley in Colorado, and this is perhaps most evident at the Shrine of the Stations of the Cross in San Luis.Constructed in the 1980s and dedicated in 1990, the Spanish-Moorish style adobe church was created by parishioners of the Sangre de Cristo Parish in San Luis, Colorado, crafted as an act of love and good faith. The shrine also resides atop a mesa and was designed as a place where any faith was welcome to fellowship. Inside, wooden pews line the sanctuary as brilliant white walls evoke a sense of reflection and meditation.
15 hours ago | Atlas Obscura
Stadsbank van Lening (City Bank of Lending) in Amsterdam, Netherlands
Banks and pawnshops have been a staple of society for centuries. Nowhere is this more clear than at the city bank in the center of Amsterdam, where an office has been in continuous use since 1614. While the inside is modern, the outside remains true to 17th-century architecture, especially when looking at the text above the door. The text translates to: "Have you not money, nor goods, pass this door by. Have you the latter, and miss you the first, come to me. Give pawn, I give you money. Why should I support you? Or is it not enough that you live off me? But if you demand your pawn back, you must take care in time, that you repay my sum, with interest. Thus I help you and me, and show the auditors of my secrets, the grave of the forgotten loansharks."
15 hours ago | A Luxury Travel Blog
Private jet journeys from Four Seasons
In late 2021, leading luxury hospitality company Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts announced its first Private Jet journeys taking flight in 2023. More recently, more opportunities to enjoy a five-star experience in the sky have been unveiled, with three more journeys in 2023, as travellers look to resume plans to explore the world.The seven expertly curated itineraries set to take flight in 2023 will allow Four Seasons passengers to seamlessly explore a collection of remarkable destinations while enjoying the benefits of private travel. Newly added journeys include:Timeless Encounters March 2023 – March 26 – April 18, 2023Kona, USA – Bora Bora, French Polynesia – Sydney, Australia – Bali, Indonesia – Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai, Thailand – Taj Mahal, India (day trip) – Dubai, UAE – Prague, Czech Republic – London, England
16 hours ago | Atlas Obscura
Musée d'Art et d'Industrie Paul Charnoz in Paray-le-Monial, France
In 1993, a pair of houses next to a former tile factory were converted into a museum celebrating the long tradition of tile-making in Paray-le-Monial. Among the exhibits at the Musée d'Art et d'Industrie Paul Charnoz (Museum of Art and Industry Paul Charnoz) are two great masterpieces, monumental frescoes made for the world fairs in Paris of 1889 and 1900, each awarded with the first prize.Paul Charnoz was born in 1845 in the city of Metz. He learned about ceramics while working with his father Jules Charnoz, who was a director at the Boch Brothers ceramic factory in Dresden. In 1872, Charnoz married Marie Grudzinska Gralfigny, a Polish countess, in Dresden. The couple liked Paray-le-Monial as a place to raise their children, especially because of the local Jesuit school, and decided to settle there and open a business. Paray-le-Monial's ceramic factory opened in 1877 and soon became famous for its tiles.
16 hours ago | Atlas Obscura
The Museum Where Everything Is on Display
The Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen—the most visited-museum in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam—was founded in 1849. Over the next century and a half, its collection grew to more than 151,000 works of art, including masterpieces by household names like Rembrandt, Vincent van Gogh, Hieronymus Bosch, and Peter Paul Rubens, all of it valued at €8 billion (about $9 billion). But as is the case for museums around the world, Boijmans’ galleries can only accommodate a fraction of these vast holdings, meaning that for most of its history the majority have been stored out of sight.Sjarel Ex, the museum’s director since 2004, always thought that was a shame.
17 hours ago | Atlas Obscura
The Wood Cake House in Toronto, Ontario
This home in Toronto's Seaton Village neighborhood is completely covered in thousands of coins, corks, glass beads, and small wooden pucks called “wood cakes.” And if that wasn’t enough, the unique decor carries over onto the homeowner’s car, which is known as the "bug mobile" and you can often find parked out front.After suffering a career-ending spinal injury in 1994, homeowner Albino Carreira was looking for something to keep him occupied while he recovered. He started small by decorating his mailbox with small glass beads. When the mailbox was covered, Carreira put some decorations on the house's porch. You might say things have escalated since then. The front of the house, the walkway leading to it, the front porch and garden, the sides of the house, and even the backyard and garage are covered in unwanted toys and knick-knacks.
18 hours ago | Atlas Obscura
Hotel Casa Grande Wall in Taxco, Mexico
Taxco de Alarcón is known as a Mexican viceregal city where most of its constructions date from the New Spain Baroque period. At that time, those who could not afford to have elaborate facades carved in quarry asked to decorate the walls with illustrations made with pebbles at the time of construction.According to the history of the Hotel Casa Grande, the property dates back to 1571. It was the site where the hero of independence, Morelos, kept a barracks, and the revolutionary Emiliano Zapata had another. The funny thing is a side facade that many tourists ignore.The wall overlooks the tiny alley of Nogal. Once through the busy traffic of the main avenue, it is possible to see each of the details in detail. Most are shapeless figures and initials of those who made them. Although it was a viceregal tradition, the details seem to be from the 20th century. Another example of this type of decoration can be seen at La Casa del Diablo in Cholula, Puebla.
19 hours ago | Atlas Obscura
Hot Springs in Hot Springs, North Carolina
The only natural mineral hot springs in the state of North Carolina sits in a picturesque mountain town aptly named Hot Springs, at the juncture of the French Broad River and the Appalachian Trail, encircled by the Pisgah National Forest. Heated, carbonated waters are jetted from the ancient river (one of the oldest on earth, by some measures) into a series of neat, private mineral baths lining the river, offering unobstructed views of the waterways and the Blue Ridge Mountains beyond. Save for a handful of curious remains, one would never guess the properties motley past.While its specific role is inconclusive, pictographic evidence suggests the springs were at least known to the Cherokee tribes who were the original inhabitants of this land. With the encroachment of European settlements in the late 1700s, the springs grew into the resort at the heart of a burgeoning tourist town then named “Warm Springs,” whose popularity soared further with the advent of the nearby Buncombe Turnpike in 1828.
20 hours ago | CNN
Enormous superyacht squeezes under Dutch bridges
(CNN) — It's not every day that you spot an 80-meter superyacht squeezing under a bridge with just a few inches of clearance.So it's no wonder that the sight of this gigantic vessel from Heesen making its way through the narrow canals of the Netherlands drew a large crowd.The maiden voyage of Galactica, formerly known as Project Cosmos, took place earlier this month, with painful precision, and a photographer was on hand to capture the journey.In a series of incredible images, the superyacht is seen being carefully transported from the Heesen shipyard in the southern Netherlands town of Oss to the North Sea port of Harlingen, where it will undergo sea trials and outfitting.During the operation, which took around four to five days, the vessel was pulled and pushed by expert tugboats through narrow locks and under at least six bridges.
21 hours ago | A Luxury Travel Blog
8 luxury experiences not to miss in St. Lucia
An island enclosed in a blanket of lush greenery, bordered by white sands and the turquoise shades of the Caribbean, St Lucia boasts something for everyone from adventure through to romance. This paradise with its laid-back vibe is the perfect break away. Although it may be smaller and less developed than its neighbours, St Lucia has a whole host of luxury experiences on offer. 1. Hike up the Pitons A visit to St Lucia isn’t complete without lacing up your hiking boots and summiting one of the island’s iconic and majestic peaks. Standing tall on the southwestern coast, the Pitons, Gros and Petit, are a UNESCO World Heritage site. Hire a private guide to take you up Gros Piton, admire the views at the top and once down, congratulate yourself with a Piton, local beer, named after the peaks.
23 hours ago | The NY Times
Vegan Travel: It’s Not Fringe Anymore
When she went vegan about four years ago, Colleen Corbett, a bartender based in Tampa, Fla., thought she might starve or be forced to eat meat when traveling abroad. Instead, it was just the beginning of her explorations of the burgeoning vegan destinations that have flourished around the world.“It’s changed how I make my bucket list,” she said in an interview between trips to Peru in December and Dublin in March. “It used to be just scenic stuff. Now, I find myself adding cities I wouldn’t have had an interest in before, but have booming vegan scenes. I just added Warsaw.”While vegans and vegetarians are minorities in the United States, a growing number of people are more interested in reducing their meat consumption, often for environmental reasons, as livestock operations significantly produce climate-disruptive methane gas.
Jan 20, 2022 | CNN
Negative Covid test, no close contact: How I ended up at a Hong Kong government quarantine camp
Hong Kong (CNN) — When I first stepped onto a plane departing from Hong Kong to visit my family in the United States for the holidays, I knew my return trip to the city wasn't going to be easy. But I never expected a new coronavirus variant to appear and that I'd be sent to the city's government quarantine camp as a result.Back in October, I was prepared to undergo a mandatory 21-day quarantine in a hotel room when I returned to Hong Kong, one of the few places around the world still adopting a zero-Covid approach. To that end, the city already had some of the strictest border control and quarantine measures in the world, even before the emergence of Omicron.On November 26, five weeks before my return flight, the World Health Organization announced it had designated the newly discovered strain first detected in South Africa as a variant of concern, named Omicron.
Jan 20, 2022 | CNN
One campground at Yosemite is so wildly popular that they're trying a lottery this year
(CNN) — Sometimes, it's tough being popular. Just look at the National Park Service. Record numbers of pandemic-weary visitors have shown up at many national parks during the pandemic.California's Yosemite National Park is so popular during peak summer season that it's now testing a pilot program for campers: A winter lottery in which winners get a chance to make early reservations.They're trying this at just one especially coveted campground in the park -- North Pines Campground. The lottery started on January 18 and lasts through February 6, so there's still plenty of time to enter. They'll release the lottery results on February 10.The summer camping dates under the lottery are from July 21 through September 14. There is a $10 nonrefundable fee to enter the lottery.
Jan 20, 2022 | A Luxury Travel Blog
24 hours in Gibraltar
Whether you’re looking for a short, or a relaxing escape in the sun, Gibraltar has everything you need with much more to offer than you can possibly imagine. However you arrive – by air, foot, car or sea – you will soon experience Gibraltar’s intricate layers of history all around you. Here’s an idea for how to spend 24 hours in this unique place.09:00An immediate talking point is the runway, constructed during the Second World War. As it crosses the main road into the city, visitors are amazed as traffic and pedestrians are stopped to allow aircraft to take off and land.The best way to familiarise yourself with Gibraltar’s diverse heritage, as well as witnessing some of its natural beauty, is to take a Rock Tour to the Gibraltar Nature Reserve, Upper Rock. A tour can be experienced in a number of ways, by official taxi, pre-arranged with a coach tour company, on foot or alternatively, you can take the Cable Car from Grand Parade. Alternatively, rent an e-bike or take an e-bike guided tour.
Jan 20, 2022 | Atlas Obscura
Crab Museum in Margate, England
The Crab Museum promotes itself as "Europe's only museum dedicated to the decapod" but is more a quirky environmental action and climate change initiative launched by a team of absurdists. While there is certainly some scientific information about crabs, there is also a lot of tongue-in-cheek nonsense about giant crabs, bearded ladies, crabs engaged in class warfare, an info panel (in the toilet) on pubic lice (commonly called "crabs"), and a "carb display," supposedly initiated by a dyslexic curator.The museum is the project of crab enthusiasts Ned Suesat-Williams, Bertie Suesat-Williams, and Chase Coley. In an interview with The Isle of Thanet News, the trio explained some of the philosophy behind the museum: “Margate was famous for its eccentric seaside attractions long before it was an artistic retreat for London’s struggling socialites. We like to think that Crab Museum will give a 21st-century nod to the donkey rides of yesteryear, and our combination of humour and science will inject a little bit of unexpected fun into an often overlooked area of marine biology.”
Jan 20, 2022 | A Luxury Travel Blog
Win a luxury holiday in Britain with free international flights!
Love Britain? This is your chance to win a Great British holiday! The prize – courtesy of Discover Britain – is a luxury holiday in Britain for two people, worth up to £5,000, including free international flights.Stay in five-star luxury in London, take in the capital’s most famous sights and visit the quaint villages and rolling hills of the Cotswolds.  Or even visit Edinburgh, Scotland’s stunning capital. You can win all of this and more in this fantastic Great British Holiday competition.IMPORTANT NOTICE:If you are reading this article anywhere other than on A Luxury Travel Blog, then the chances are that this content has been stolen without permission. Please make a note of the web address above and contact A Luxury Travel Blog to advise them of this issue.
Jan 20, 2022 | Atlas Obscura
Great Plains Dinosaur Museum in Malta, Montana
Though Malta, Montana, has a population of just under 2,000 people, it boasts an impressive collection of dinosaur bones. The small town is home to a remarkable museum that holds some of the best-preserved dinosaur bones and fossils in its collection. The Great Plains Dinosaur Museum takes you back millions of years to a time when these giants roamed the earth (alongside smaller creatures too, of course). You can see full skeletons still caked in mud from where they were found. Specimens on display include a Ceratopsideae, which is related to the mighty Triceratops, and one of the oldest dinosaur fossils found in Montana: a Camarasaurus collected in 2003 near the Little Snowy Mountains.
Jan 20, 2022 | Atlas Obscura
Frank Lloyd Wright Spire in Scottsdale, Arizona
This 125-foot tower was part of a design that architect Frank Lloyd Wright proposed in 1957 as Arizona's new State Capitol. Called "The Oasis," Wright's vision included a canopy of honeycombed glass and a delicate spire atop each of the three wings. At the time, the design was rejected by Arizona for being too “modern,” and for many years it sat as one of the hundreds of Wright designs that were never implemented. But in 2004, the Promenade Scottsdale wanted a focal point for its shopping center. Working with one of Wright’s apprentices, Arnold Roy, they resurrected the tower elements from the design, and built one on the corner of Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard and Scottsdale Road.
Jan 20, 2022 | CNN
Rare snow and hailstorms cover Saudi desert
(CNN) — For most people, thinking about the Saudi Arabian desert probably conjures up images of sand dunes baked by relentless sunshine.More recently, however, those sands have been covered in snow. Several recent snow and hailstorms in the region have transformed landscapes in and around Saudi Arabia, stirring excitement among locals and causing a sensation on social media. Earlier this month, Saudi photographer Osama Al-Habri captured aerial images of Badr Governorate, southwest of the Islamic pilgrimage city of Medina, dressed in white as locals gathered to enjoy the unusual sight. Al-Harbi told CNN that winter weather of such intensity in the Badr desert area was a rare phenomenon that had not occurred for years. He described it as a "historic hailstorm."
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Stobs Camp in Hawick, Scotland
14 hours ago | Atlas Obscura
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